Here are another 6 biodiversity cartoons for your conservation pleasure/pain (see full stock of previous ‘Cartoon guide to biodiversity loss’ compendia here). --
Natural history news and information for animals, plants, and nature. See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
By Richard Lough
BUENOS AIRES, Dec 21 (Reuters) - An orangutan held in an Argentine zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognized the ape as a "non-human person" unlawfully deprived of its freedom, local media ...
Let's hope there is no appeal, or if there is one, that it fails. This morning I passed a yard with an old horse standing in a small corral. I'm sure the people there loved and cared for the horse, but it's too bad that the horse couldn't take a stroll about the neighborhood if it wanted. Are there any communities where people appreciate free animals instead of considering them a nuisance?
"Another year, another arbitrary retrospective list – but I’m still going to do it. Based on the popularity of last year’s retrospective list of influential conservation papers as assessed through F1000 Prime, here are 20 conservation papers published in 2014 that impressed the Faculty members" (C. Bradshaw).
Useful information to add to your reading list. Thanks to Professor Bradshaw.
This extraordinary video puts the killing of our elephants and rhinos into perspective. Ultimately it all starts or stops with YOU as the consumer. Please watch and share.
Purchases of small trinkets support organized crime and wipe elephants from the face of the Earth forever.
A study by researchers in Brazil published this week has found that deforestation in the Southern Amazon may impair significantly the structure and function of rivers, and make them less able to support life.
Deforestation with its corresponding loss of animal diversity is one of the worst human impacts.
"Peer-reviewed report says that clearing tropical rainforests distorts Earth’s wind and water systems and has impacts far beyond the implications for carbon dioxide. Farmers and food supply potentially at risk as global warming and skewed rainfall could wreak havoc with crops—from coffee to corn—in world’s breadbaskets
"A new study presents powerful evidence that clearing trees not only spews carbon into the atmosphere, but also triggers major shifts in rainfall and increased temperatures worldwide that are just as potent as those caused by current carbon pollution. Further, the study finds that future agricultural productivity across the globe is at risk from deforestation-induced warming and altered rainfall patterns.
"The report, “Effects of Tropical Deforestation on Climate Change and Agriculture,” published today in Nature Climate Change and released in collaboration with Climate Focus provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the climate impacts of tropical forest destruction on agriculture in the tropics and thousands of miles away. Specifically, the study finds that deforestation in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa may alter growing conditions in agricultural areas in the tropics and as far away as the US Midwest, Europe and China."
The human impact has many facets, but its root is human population growth. Construction, invasive species, deforestation, toxic chemicals, and greenhouse gas are all increasing along with our population.
Scientists warn that removal from ecosystem of large carnivores like the dingo could be as detrimental as climate change Dingoes keep kangaroo and fox numbers down, which means less overgrazing and...
GR: Recent stories about predator recovery in Europe point out that going into the woods is becoming dangerous. Just a few centuries ago we knew how to guard against large predators, but we gradually eradicated them and lost our cautious habits. I expect that eradication will be our response to the tiniest losses to predators.
Our population continues to grow and destroy the habitats and prey required by lions and tigers and bears. Eradication won't require killing, it will simply occur as we remove habitat. For top predators to survive, we must reverse human population growth and resource use.
I don't think the much-needed regulator of human population growth will be large carnivores. Microbes perhaps, but not bears and tigers. We need to use our brains. There are population control programs in the world today. They aren't talked about very much, but we need them to be. We need them to become popular. My challenge is to assemble information on current programs and post on this website. If you have suggestions, please add them in a comment. Thank you.
We’ve been given no other choice but to seek Endangered Species Act protection for the Yellowstone buffalo. This important action has been taken by the Buffalo Field Campaign and Western Watersheds Project.
Not a single Interagency Bison Management Plan affiliate seems to have the courage to defend wild buffalo — not the park, not Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, not even the tribes. The dastardly management schemes that continue to wage war against buffalo must end. There is no cause or evidence to support this brutal treatment, and none of the actions carried out in vile service to Montana’s livestock interests can be justified. The nonsensical abuse and killing of wild buffalo has become a very bad habit that U.S. taxpayers continue to fund.
Like the Sage Grouse, Buffalo protection will be opposed by Congressional representatives of grazing and mining. By now, everyone should recognize that the term "public lands" is a deceit. The American public lands held by the states and the U. S. government belong to ranchers, miners, and anyone else that wants to use/abuse the land to make a profit. That is, as long as a little of that profit makes it back to our "representatives" in Congress.
Thick tar clogging 350 sq km of delicate mangrove forest and river delta, home to endangered Bengal tigers and rare dolphins The United Nations said on Thursday it has sent a team of international experts to Bangladesh to help clean up the world’s...
GR: In many instances, we can't rely on local governments to clean up environmental impacts. Perhaps the UN could play a larger role, become more of an emergency environmental disaster relief organization.
The 2013 Rim Fire, the largest wildland fire ever recorded in the Sierra Nevada region, is still fresh in the minds of Californians, as is the urgent need to bring forests back to a more resilient condition.
GR: We have hypothesized for many years that fire is a natural, even a necessary, part of stable forests/shrublands. But here we have a test that falsifies the hypothesis. Perhaps we shouldn’t apply a single hypothesis to spatiotemporally complex forests and fires.
Why aren't there more tests? Should we be checking on the results of controlled and accidental fires to see if the results match our predictions?
(AP)—U.S. wildlife officials will decide next year whether a wide-ranging Western bird species needs protections even though Congress has blocked such protections from taking effect, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday.
GR: And the prize goes to..........Homo sapiens! The U. S. Congress has protected the grazing and mining industries from the endangered Sage Grouse. Thank you Thank you. Nothing can stand against us! Cheers, cheers, cheers!
Arctic ground squirrels churn up and warm soil in the Tundra, releasing carbon dioxide, while beavers contributes 200 times more methane than they did 100 years ago
GR: Lot's of worthwhile comments for this one. Here's mine: "Squirrels improve soils, beaver reduce flooding, and both species feed predators. Dynamic balance occurs. What can balance humans?"
It is time to divest in the largest chemical, energy, finance, insurance, military corporations (CEFIM). #DIVEST
GR: Nature conservation requires participation in politics. Here’s the outline of a political problem to consider: Large multinational corporations often pursue profits without regard for the consequences. We can limit corporate impacts in three major ways: We can divest our holdings in the largest chemical, energy, finance, insurance, and military corporations (CEFIM), we can stop purchasing their products, and we can support politicians (yes there are some) that oppose corporate power over government.
In June, the President called on federal agencies to create a plan to "promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators." To show appreciation for all that bees and wild pollinators provide, it is essential that this plan address toxic, persistent, and systemic neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) — which science has shown to be a critical driver of pollinator declines. The Task Force was originally set to reveal its action plan this week, but has elected to take more time.
As the pollinator crisis continues, groups and concerned citizens across the country are calling on the President to #BeeKindObama, and give the gift of pollinator protection by making certain the Pollinator Health Task Force takes decisive action on bee-harming pesticides.
Other countries are following the science and directly addressing the threat neonics pose to pollinators. Over a year ago, the European Union’s suspension of neonics went into effect. And just recently the government of Ontario announced plans to reduce the use of neonic-treated seeds by 80%.
Pollinators in the United States can’t wait any longer, so we’re taking our request directly to the President and urging him to ensure the U.S. takes similar steps to protect pollinators!
GR: The dangers of pesticides are pervasive and harmful to all animals. Weed managers spray millions of gallons of pesticides on crops, along roads, and in parks. The U. S. Bureau of Land Management uses pesticides throughout the public lands of the 17 western U. S. states. The farm upstream from my home has wide weed-free zones that are probably maintained by pesticides. Bees serving as pollinators on the farm catch a full dose. Bees in yards and gardens downstream from the farm receive small doses that washed off the farm into the stream and into the groundwater. When home gardeners respond to the massive pesticide marketing efforts and use pesticides around their homes, they easily reach lethal levels.
The industry now says we need more CO2 in our lives, not less.
The energy consultant who said this was trying to make a joke, wasn't he? . . . If he wasn't, this presentation, made to the U. S. Energy Association in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., may reveal frightening stupidity amongst influential energy industry personnel.
‘Ecosystem services’ is a phrase readily used when discussing conservation measures. It refers to the benefits that we receive from the natural world such as carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling,...
GR: This article argues that declining wildlife diversity favors disease prone species and more frequent contact of these species with humans. There is some supporting evidence, but much more work is needed.
Species are disappearing quickly — but researchers are struggling to assess how bad the problem is.
Our lack of knowledge of Earth's unique creatures would be embarrassing if the great dying we're causing did not evoke more potent emotions.
Biodiversity and climate are intertwined in the physical realm though separate in the policy world. But during the ongoing climate Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, a diverse group of scientists and policymakers presented a declaration assessing current knowledge on connections between biodiversity vulnerabilities and climate change with the objective of increased integrated activity on the inter-linked issues.
GR: We must assume that our leaders know there is a connection.